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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Coronavirus Highlights: 10 states account for 77% of active cases in country, says Health Ministry

India reported 61,267 Coronavirus cases and 884 deaths in the last 24 hours ending 8 am on Tuesday.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 7, 2020 9:09:21 am
coronavirus, coronavirus news, live news, coronavirus today news, covid 19 vaccine, coronavirus india, coronavirus india news, corona cases in india, india news, coronavirus news, covid 19 india, corona news, corona latest news, india coronavirus, coronavirus live news, corona cases in india, corona cases in india, delhi coronavirus news, bihar coronavirus, west bengal coronavirus newsA petrol pump attendant wearing a personal protective gear while filling petrol in New Delhi on Thursday. (Express Photograph by Tashi Tobgyal)

About 48 per cent of total COVID-19 deaths in the country are concentrated in 25 districts of 8 states, out of which 15 districts are in Maharastra alone, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. Addressing a press briefing, Union Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said India has recorded the highest number of recoveries from COVID-19 at over 56 lakh and India has also conducted the second-highest number of tests in the world at 8.10 crore. The active COVID-19 cases have been below 10 lakh for the last two weeks, while the recovery rate has been at 84%, the ministry added. Ten states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh account for 77% of the active cases in the country.

Read Coronavirus India Live Updates

With the festive season posing a major challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Health Ministry has issued guidelines for large gatherings, including ensuring adequate area for events with a detailed site map and proper markings to maintain social distancing and not allowing touching of idols and holy books, to prevent the spread of infection. Festive events shall be permitted only outside the containment zones, while people residing in the restricted areas may be encouraged to observe all festivals inside their homes and not move out, according to the ministry.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar released guidelines for the reopening of cinema halls across the country. The Centre had allowed the opening of movie theatres starting October 15 with 50 per cent capacity and one seat distance on September 30.

India reported 61,267 coronavirus cases and 884 deaths in the last 24 hours ending 8 am on Tuesday. With this, the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country rose to 66,85,083 while the toll soared to 1,03,569. At present, India has 9,19,023 active cases while as many as 56,62,491 people have recovered. India’s recovery rate has now risen to 84.70 per cent, while the fatality rate has further dropped to 1.55 per cent. Globally, over 35 million people have been infected while more than one million have succumbed to the virus. Only the United States, where over 2.12 lakh people have died and Brazil, where about 1.45 lakh have succumbed, are ahead of India.

Live Blog

Nearly 6.7 million cases, more than 1.03 lakh deaths in India; Donald Trump returns to White House. School re-opening guidelines.

05:05 (IST)07 Oct 2020
Fortnight dip from 40% to 12.5%: In Solapur, effective contact tracing helps bring down Covid positivity rate

Solapur district, bordering Karnataka and well-known for its textile industry, was a massive cause for concern as the Covid-19 positivity rate had climbed to well over 40 per cent in the district. In the last fortnight, however, the positivity rate has declined to 12.5 per cent. Sustained and effective contact tracing has been the key to break the transmission chain, said Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao. Read More

04:23 (IST)07 Oct 2020
Second sero survey: 41-60 age group in Mumbai most exposed to Covid

People in the 41-60 age group were most exposed to the coronavirus in both slums and non-slums, according to the findings of the second sero-survey in Mumbai. The overall Covid-19 sero-prevalence found in the second survey conducted jointly by the BMC, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Niti Aayog is 33.4 per cent, a fall from 40 per cent in the first survey. Read More

03:42 (IST)07 Oct 2020
Admn to focus on checking Covid-19 spread in peri-urban area: Pune Divisional commissioner

The administration on Tuesday said its main concern was to control the spread of Covid-19 in the peri-urban area of the city, as the peth, which is the central part of the city, is relatively sanitised. Read More

03:41 (IST)07 Oct 2020
As Covid cases dip, demand for oxygen from Pune hospitals falls

With the number of Covid-19 patients falling in Pune district, the demand for medicinal oxygen has also seen a decline. According to officials of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the demand for medicinal oxygen has dropped from nearly 230 to 200 metric tonne every day. Read More

02:09 (IST)07 Oct 2020
Maharashtra health dept data: 12,729 healthcare workers infected, 144 dead due to Covid across state

As many as 12,729 healthcare workers, including 3,756 doctors, have been infected with coronavirus across Maharashtra in the last six months. State health department data shows that a total of 144 healthcare workers have succumbed to the virus. Read More

22:14 (IST)06 Oct 2020
India to operate two more Vande Bharat flights to China

India plans to operate two Vande Bharat flights from Delhi and the Chinese city of Guangzhou on October 23 and 30 to facilitate the travel of Indians stranded due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. Air India is planning to operate two flights on Guangzhou-Delhi Sector on 23rd and 30th October, 2020. Passage on these flights would be made available on payment basis as per fares to be decided by the airline, an Indian Embassy press release here said on Tuesday.

The flights facilitate the travel of Indians with valid work visas to return to China and take back those Indians wanting to return home. India has so far operated five Vande Bharat flights to China. The previous five flights flew to Shanghai, Guangzhou and Ningbo. India also operated three special flights to Wuhan to airlift Indians stranded in the city when the virus was at its peak there in February this year. The journey would be subject to an undertaking to be provided by individual passengers to abide by all protocols framed by the Government of India, which include a mandatory institutional quarantine of 7 days on payment basis and home quarantine of 7 days following arrival in Delhi, the release said. (PTI)

22:02 (IST)06 Oct 2020
DCGI nod to Phase-1 human trials of 'antisera' with potential to treat COVID-19

The Drugs Controller General of India has given permission for conducting Phase-1 human clinical trial for an "antisera" that was developed by injecting inactivated SARS-CoV-2 in horses and can be a potential treatment for COVID-19, ICMR officials said on Tuesday. The 'antisera' has been developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in collaboration with a Hyderabad-based bio-pharmaceutical firm.

"With Biological E Limited we have developed an horse 'antisera' and we have just got clearance for conducting clinical trials for that," ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said at press briefing on Tuesday. The 'antisera' is yet to undergo human clinical trials to establish safety and efficacy. Antisera are blood serum high in antibodies against specific antigens and are injected in humans to help kickstart the immune system to fight specific infections.

22:00 (IST)06 Oct 2020
Flouting SOP to cost restaurants & bars dearly: May face Rs 50,000 fine, lose licence in Pune

Apprehensive about a possible surge in coronavirus infections due to the opening of dine-in facilities at restaurants and pubs here, the Pune district administration on Tuesday warned that establishments which do not follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) will face hefty cash fines, up to Rs 50,000, and legal action. Repeat offenders may face suspension or cancellation of their licence.

District health officials are worried that patrons visiting Pune restaurants for dining and socialising may lead to another surge in cases, similar to the one seen in the days following the Ganesh festival this year.

The case positivity rate has finally stabilised in the last few weeks, said Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao, adding that the administration was serious about keeping the rate down and improving the situation further.

21:51 (IST)06 Oct 2020
Karnataka adds 9,993 new COVID-19 cases, 91 deaths push toll to 9,461

Karnataka on Tuesday reported 9,993 new cases of COVID-19 and 91 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 6,57,705 and the death toll to 9,461, the Health department said. The day also saw the number of recoveries overtaking new positive cases, with 10,228 patients getting discharged. Out of 9,993 fresh cases reported on Tuesday, a record 5,012 cases were from Bengaluru urban alone. As of October 6 evening, cumulatively 6,57,705 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 9,461 deaths and 5,33,074 discharges, the Health department said in its bulletin.

21:10 (IST)06 Oct 2020
Covid-19 and tech solutions: Why some cities coped better during the pandemic

The issue with many Indian states and cities facing the Covid-19 challenge is that most of them are not nimble enough to come up with digital tools and platforms to manage such contingencies. The ongoing pandemic is one such contingency–with social distancing, remote working, large-scale migration – that tested governance and outdated disaster preparedness systems in cities.

There are, however, some cities that seemed to have fared better. And those who had a tech partner organisation which could scale up tools and applications without wasting much time in tendering procedures and other bureaucratic hassles seemed to have weathered the storm somewhat. Moreover, such a system also needed to be integrated beforehand with the overall management of the city and built to be scalable nationally. A standalone product or application, built on the go, might face difficulties integrating with the existing tech systems apart from issues of privacy and security.

20:47 (IST)06 Oct 2020
West Bengal reports record 3,370 fresh COVID-19 cases, tally mounts to 2,77,049

West Bengal reported its highest single-day spike of 3,370 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, pushing the state's tally to 2,77,049, a bulletin issued by the health department said. The death toll rose to 5,318 after 63 more patients succumbed to the virus, it said. The discharge rate, however, improved to around 90 per cent with 3,036 recoveries since Monday, the bulletin said. West Bengal now has 27,988 active cases. In the last 24 hours, 42,382 samples have been tested for COVID-19, it added.

20:20 (IST)06 Oct 2020
7,671 Covid cases in Kerala, toll now 884 with 25 fatalities

Kerala's COVID-19 count is inching towards the 2.50 lakh mark as 7,871 new cases were added on Tuesday and the toll climbed to 884 with 25 more fatalities, as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan cautioned that the number of deaths could rise in the coming days. With 4,981 people testing negative today, the recoveries so far touched 1,54,092 and active cases stood at 87,738 . As many as 6,910 were infected through contact, Vijayan told reporters. The total infection count climbed to 2,40,799.

20:03 (IST)06 Oct 2020
Goa govt announces safe patient handling service

The Goa government on Tuesday announced that it would be providing helpers to cater to the needs of COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment at state-run ESI Hospital in Margao. This would be the country's first-ever service for safe patient handling, state health minister Vishwajit Rane claimed. Taking to Twitter, the minister said, "In addition to the treatment of patients, providing drug therapy, nutrition, etc, patients also require assistance in the ward with numerous things, to cater to the same, we have started Patient Handling Services at ESI Hospital for COVID patients."

19:37 (IST)06 Oct 2020
People identified for Covid-19 testing should undergo the same: Karnataka govt

In the wake of several incidents reported from across the state indicating people, including high-risk contacts of Covid-19 positive patients refusing to get tested for coronavirus, the Karnataka government Tuesday issued an order asking people identified so to undergo testing.

"All individuals who are identified for Covid-19 test by the government shall get tested so that the spread of the disease can be contained and lives can be said," an order signed by Om Prakash Patil, Director of Health and Family Welfare Services Department read.

This includes primary and secondary contacts of people testing positive for Covid-19, Influenza-like Illness and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) patients, staff/healthcare workers engaged in Covid treatment, persons in containment/buffer zones, and others identified to be at the risk or suspected to have the infection, the order explained.

19:36 (IST)06 Oct 2020
48% of total COVID-19 deaths concentrated in 25 districts of 8 states: Health Ministry

About 48 per cent of total COVID-19 deaths in the country are concentrated in 25 districts of 8 states, out of which 15 districts are in Maharastra alone, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. Giving figures on COVID deaths, Bhushan said about 48 per cent of total COVID-19 deaths in the country are concentrated in 25 districts of 8 states. "Out of these 25 districts, 15 districts are in one state alone that is Maharashtra. Two districts each are in Karnataka, West Bengal and Gujarat and one each in Tamil Nadu, Punjab, UP and Andhra Pradesh," Bhushan said. He further said that the average daily COVID-19 positivity rate has declined from 9.21 per cent recorded between September 16-22 to 6.82 per cent registered from September 30 to October 6.

19:06 (IST)06 Oct 2020
Ten states account for 77% of the active cases in the country, says Health Ministry

Active COVID-19 cases have been below 10 lakh for the last two weeks, while the recovery rate has been at 84%, Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday. While talking about the mortality rate, he said that 48% of COVID-related deaths have been reported from 25 districts in the country. Out of these 25 districts, 15 are from Maharashtra. Ten states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh account for 77% of the active cases in the country, the secretary said. The ministry also added that the number of tests conducted for detection of COVID-19 in India is second-highest in the world.

18:26 (IST)06 Oct 2020
IMF head says global economy facing long climb to recovery

The head of the International Monetary Fund says that the global economy has started on a long climb to stronger growth with prospects looking a little better than four months ago. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Tuesday that global economic activity suffered an unprecedented fall in the spring when 85 per cent of the global economy was in lockdown for several weeks. The situation currently is less dire with many countries experiencing a better-than-expected rebound in recent weeks. "We continue to project a partial and uneven recovery in 2021," Georgieva said in a speech previewing next week's fall meetings of the 189-nation IMF and its sister lending agency the World Bank where the IMF will release its updated economic outlook. While there has been some improvement, downside risks remain high, Georgieva said in a video-conference speech to the London School of Economics.

18:20 (IST)06 Oct 2020
Congress veteran Motilal Vora tests positive for COVID-19, admitted to AIIMS

Veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the national capital, sources close to him said. Vora (91) is recovering well and his condition is stated to be stable, they said. The Congress leader was a Rajya Sabha member from Chhattisgarh till April this year. He was also the AICC general secretary (administration) before the recent party reshuffle by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.  A number of Congress leaders have tested positive for COVID-19 in the recent past including Ahmed Patel, Abhishek Singhvi and Tarun Gogoi. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and union ministers Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari and Prahlad Patel were also infected with the coronavirus.

18:14 (IST)06 Oct 2020
Average daily COVID-19 positivity rate declines from 9.21% to 6.82%: Health Ministry

The average daily COVID-19 positivity rate has declined from 9.21% recorded between September 16-22 to 6.82% from Sep 30 to Oct 6, the Health Ministry said Tuesday.

17:46 (IST)06 Oct 2020
Festive events to be permitted only outside containment zones; Health Ministry issues SOPs

With the festive season posing a major challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Health Ministry has issued guidelines for large gatherings, including ensuring adequate area for events with a detailed site map and proper markings to maintain social distancing and not allowing touching of idols and holy books, to prevent the spread of infection.

Festive events shall be permitted only outside the containment zones, while people residing in the restricted areas may be encouraged to observe all festivals inside their homes and not move out, according to the ministry.

Releasing the ‘Standard Operating Procedures’, the ministry said that the period from October to December witnesses large gatherings for religious worship, fairs, cultural functions, processions, etc, and it is important that necessary preventive measures are followed for such events which may last a day, a week or more.

Prabhu Shisharnappa Banshette, 37, offers rides to citizens, including Covid-19 patients, wearing a PPE kit in Pune. (Express Photo: Pavan Khengre)

A temperature-controlled cold chain, including equipment and procedures used in transport, storage, and handling, is a critical aspect of the administration of the potential vaccine. Poor handling, including exposing the vaccine to temperatures outside the recommended range, can result in reduction of potency and wastage.

The decision to augment cold chain storage comes in the backdrop of the government asking states to submit lists of priority population groups for receiving the vaccine. On Sunday, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had said that the government expects to receive and utilise 400-500 million doses, and cover approximately 20-25 crore people by July 2021.

A subgroup has been formed to look at cold chain storage, sources in the Expert Group said. IAS officer S Aparna, who has been recently appointed as Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, heads the subgroup. Sources said the subgroup has had detailed deliberations on augmenting the existing cold chain storage of the government’s Universal Immunisation programme.

President Donald Trump returned to the White House Monday evening after three days of treatment for Covid-19 at a military hospital, and officials plan to significantly restrict physical access to him as he continues his recovery.

“The White House is taking every precaution necessary to protect not only him and the first family, but every staff member working on the complex,” spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement Monday night. He said that anyone who comes close to Trump would wear personal protective equipment.

Trump only said “thank you very much” to those gathered at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before boarding the presidential helicopter for his return flight to the White House. Back at the residence, he walked up the South Portico stairs to the balcony, where he removed his mask, flashed thumbs-up with both hands and saluted for several seconds.

US President Donald Trump removes his protective mask on the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington (Photographer: Ken Cedeno/Polaris/Bloomberg)

He did not appear to put his mask back on before walking into the residence. The show of defiance toward both the virus and public health measures to combat its spread was in keeping with the president’s tone earlier when he announced he would leave the Bethesda, Maryland, hospital.

In a video released shortly afterward, Trump said of the virus: “Don’t let it dominate you.”

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